It’s officially Summer!!
And that means:
- Longer Days
- Walking/Biking/Running outside in the sun
- Patio Parties
- Road Trips
- Vacation (Vegas!)
Yea – Smoothies. I have a smoothie pretty much every single day – and it’s usually the same one. It’s a green monster of goodness. In my usual I’ll have banana, kale, spinach, ice, coconut/almond milk, protein powder, flax seed - blend it all up and enjoy.
I’ve never really posted a smoothie recipe on here because I just throw whatever is in the fridge into the blender usually – however, I thought I’d enter a contest by one of my favourite sites – Healthy Happy Life by Kathy Patalsky - a contest to show off your ‘Smoothietude’ for her upcoming book 365 Vegan Smoothies out in July.
I thought I’d make something new, and seeing as how it’s hosted by DOLE, I definitely had to include my favourite, the banana!
I love bananas – I eat at least one a day, maybe two! I always have ripe banana’s on hand. Sometimes if the produce market I go to doesn’t have ripe enough ones, I’ll buy a bunch of green ones from them, then go to the grocery store and buy some more ripe ones too so we have them ready to go. I can honestly say we have at least 10 bananas, if not more, on the counter at all times. Usually two large bunches. Adam loves bananas too – so they go fast between the two of us. Especially when I use them to make 1-Ingredient Banana Ice Cream, or Fudgey Banana Brownies, or Banana Brownies with Chocolate Avocado Ganache, OR Banana Oatmeal Cowboy Cookies (vegan). I always add them to my smoothies because they make them so smooth and thick – even better if you have some frozen banana slices.
Since It’s the beginning of Summer I thought I would make a citrus smoothie with banana. Anything with citrus is refreshing, and adding frozen banana makes it perfect for long hot summer days!
Citrus is also amazing for you! It’s packed with Vitamin C which helps prevent colds. And, since we’re outside all summer long soaking up Vitamin D from the sun, Citrus fruits actually help your body absorb the Vitamin D to promote strong bones, and glowing skin! And Bananas are just as amazing, they help regulate our blood sugar and help our body from becoming overly acidic. They are packed with potassium – great for having before/after a workout too!
I combined the two to make a frothy smoothie, with add-ins like flax seed and protein powder! **Recipe Below**
Summer and long sunny days make me happy – and so does this smoothie! It’s colour and ingredients are refreshing and a great pick me up on a hot summer day.
Banana Citrus Smoothie
- 1/2 ripe Banana
- 1/2 ripe Banana, sliced and frozen
- 1 juicy Satsuma tangerine, peeled
- 1/2 cup Ice Cubes
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup Coconut/Almond milk
- 1 Tbs. Flax Seed
- 1 tsp hemp seeds
- 1 scoop protein powder
Add it all to the blender and blend until frothy! Top with fresh blueberries and a slice of tangerine for garnish. Enjoy!
Happy yellow citrus smoothie = happy day! I’m always happy after I’ve had my smoothie =) They say the colour yellow is a ‘happy’ colour, and I agree! Just like the colour of bananas, and this smoothie :)
Allergy season has officially begun. I have tried to stay on my food elimination diet for my food allergies, kinda, however, while on this diet I am not able to take any allergy medication that would mask the allergic reactions I may get from the foods. Thus, I either suffer through the allergies or take the medicine and try to stick to the diet best I can.
Well, even when I take the allergy medicine there is still no relief. After about 20 years of allergies I think my body has built up an immunity to all allergy medicines. They never seem to do anything for me anymore. It’s like taking a placebo, I’ll try and trick my mind into thinking the allergy pill I just took will work immediately and I will begin to feel better, but just a little while later I’ll still be sniffling and sneezing away. I really hope I don’t pass on these allergies to my future children. It sucks. Spring and Summer sucks. I also read on my allergy food information page that because my grass allergies are the highest they can be, and I believe it!, that this time of year is when Alder and Birch are really bad, and this can be affected even more so by other food allergies that counter-react with them. Awesome.
Bottom line, allergies suck and I would like to be able to breath out of both of my nostrils sometime soon.
I really didn’t take very good photos yesterday for WIAW this week.
Breakfast was cereal, as usual right now for the allergy diet that I’m sorta-kinda on still. (recycled photo)
Lunch was leftover chicken and roasted broccoli from the night before. No picture evidence because it was eaten so quickly.
For dinner we had Adam’s mom over as his dad is on a business trip this week, and my mom came by for coffee after dinner too. I decided to make a pork tenderloin I had in the fridge, Italian style with rosemary and basil with olive oil, along with roasted veggies, potato and sweet potato, and baby broccoli. I didn’t take a picture, but had leftovers today so it was basically the same thing. It was good.
Tonight Adam and I took Lainey to the urban nature park near our house. It’s a really large park with trails through the forest and a man made lake in the middle. I always read about the Fitnessista’s walks in their canyons in Phoenix, however here in British Columbia we don’t have many giant canyons full of cacti. We do, however, have vast forests and mountains.
It’s a really nice walk through the trails and Lainey was looking a little cabin-feverish tonight. She’s getting groomed in the morning so I thought it would be nice to take her out for a long walk tonight before the torture tomorrow. She shakes like a leaf whenever I bring her in, and when I pick her up she shakes in excitement screaming “take me home!!” She looks very pretty though all short and sassy. When her hair gets long we start calling her scruffy.
Lainey and I both needed to get out of the house for a little walk. (note Pinterest in the background..) We went for a nice half hour walk.
The urban park has some eerie looking trails that wind through it.
It kind of reminds me of Twilight. Ya, I went there. I wouldn’t mind running into a vampire in these woods if you know what I mean.. ;)
Once you’re out of the forest though the sun was shining through the clouds.
It’s also really pretty when the sun is setting just over the park. The reflections on the lake are gorgeous. Some boys were even fishing for trout.
Now that we’re back home, the allergies have begun again. It’s a lose-lose situation.
Tonight I prepped a recipe I’m trying out tomorrow. Stay tuned to see what I did with this ingredient!
For now we’re going to re-watch inception to try and see if we can figure out what the heck that movie was about. Again.
Have a good night!
I wrote this whole post, and went to press ‘save draft’ about the same time my computer decided to freeze. I had to write it again, and hopefully it’s just the same as when I first did it. I’m going to go eat some ice cream now.
Adam bought me a KitchenAid Ice cream attachment for Christmas. However, I have yet to use it. Most people are not making ice cream in the middle of winter. Though some people would think otherwise; Adam has been asking me to make it ever since. I guess he thought since he bought me it I would use it or something. Hmm..
But, we finally we have some sun in Vancouver. July has been so rainy! Unlike our counterpart in the East, the West coast has had a horrible summer thus far. I hope the sun is planning on sticking around for a while!! We needed it! Adam and I are also looking forward to celebrating his cousins wedding this weekend and I think the sun is going to stick around for it!
I was so glad to be able to try out the new attachment. Of course, I could not choose which flavour to make first. I was going to make ice cream with mini-chocolate peanut butter cups in it that I bought from Trader Joes. But they mysteriously disappeard…
So, I decided to start off with a bang. Three at once! Who doesn’t love the appearance and taste of Neapolitan ice cream? Do you? I do.
I’ve only made ice cream on two other occasions, Blackberry ice cream without a machine here, and once with my friend Justine using a 15$ ice cream maker we bought from WalMart. It was pretty delicious, but took a lot more work. It was also Mint Chocolate Chip. Yum.
I must admit I do have a slight dairy allergy. And by slight, I mean I’m naughty and still eat things like Mayo, Sour Cream, and Cheese. Not on their own of course. Cause that’d be gross. Oh, except the cheese I guess. Thats ok. Anyways, things that do not like me are milk, eggs (on their own) and heavy creams. I stopped eating my beloved Special K and switched to oatmeal last december. Thus, no ice cream or omelettes for me! How gross would that combo be??
Anyways, I love ice cream but hate feeling sick afterwards. So, I decided I would try to make ice cream a little *healthier* by omitting some of the heavier ingredients. I only used one cup of half & half, and replaced the other ingredients with Coconut Milk and Almond Milk. The result? Perfection. I was going to leave the eggs out, but as per suggestions I kept them to thicken the mixture up a bit. Next time I may try not adding them and see what happens!
This ice cream is absolutely-freaking-delicious. It is just as creamy as the real thing. And healthier..ish. Hey, its still dessert! But, no preservatives, no added dyes, no extra ingredientsneeded. Just simple natural ingredients. Using real strawberries instead of ‘strawberry flavour’ and pink dye makes all the difference. No need for adding food colouring here! It is naturally pink baby.
Though the list of instructions seems daunting, I assure you it does not take that long. Alternatively, you can make an all-vanilla, all-chocolate, or all-strawberry ice cream as one large batch and enjoy it as is.
The strawberry is definitely my favourite. Though, the chocolate with the chocolate shavings is a close second. And, did you know July is National Ice Cream month?? Good timing huh?
** Make sure your ice cream maker is fully frozen/chilled before making each batch. It may begin to thaw, and therefore not freeze the mixture while churning. Place it in the freezeragain before starting the next one to make sure it turns out correctly. **
Vanilla Ice Cream Base
makes approx. 1 1/2 quarts
Adapted to be more dairy free from here
1 cup half and half
1 1/2 cups almond milk
2 cups (1 can) coconut milk
3/4 cup + 2 tbsp. sugar
dash of sea salt
3 egg yolks
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1. In a heavy bottomed sauce pan, combine half and half, almond milk, coconut milk, 1 cup of sugar, and salt. Whisk to combine.
2. In a bowl, whisk together egg yolks and 2 tablespoons of sugar.
3. Over medium-high heat, heat milk mixture until sugar dissolves and begins to simmer. Slowly pour about one cup of the simmering milk mixture into the egg mixture, whisking constantly to temper the eggs (a.k.a. cook the eggs without scrambling them). Add egg mixture to sauce pan, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes. Turn heat off. Add vanilla extract.
4. Pour mixture in a large bowl. Cover and place in fridge to cool, about 3 hours. To speed up the cooling process, place bowl in an ice bath in the fridge, or place in the freezer sans ice bath.
To Make Neapolitan Ice cream…
1. Divide the chilled mixture into three bowls.
2. Return two of the bowls to the freezer.
3. Using the first bowl continue to prepare as per your ice cream makers instructions for the Vanilla ice cream.
4. Once you have finished making the Vanilla ice cream, it will resemble soft serve, scoop the finished mixture into an air tight container and return to the freezer to harden.
Strawberry Ice Cream:
Approx. 5-7 strawberries, hulled and diced into small pieces.
2 tbsp. sugar
1. Remove one of the remaining two batches from the freezer.
2. Using a food processor, or by mashing the strawberries by hand, gently puree the strawberries and sugar until only a few remaining pieces of strawberry remain whole.
3. Pour the strawberry puree into the vanilla ice cream base.
4. Continue to make as per your ice cream makers instructions for the Strawberry ice cream. Scoop the finished mixture int another air tight container and place in freezer.
Chocolate Ice Cream:
2 squares of good quality chocolate
1. Melt the chocolate carefully, as not to burn it, and allow to cool.
2. Remove the final batch of ice cream base from the freezer. Slowly stir in the chocolate with a whisk (you may add some cocoa powder as well if you like)
3. Continue to make as per your ice cream makers instructions for the chocolate ice cream.
4. To gain a chocolate stracciatella like ice cream, melt some more chocolate, and drizzle it slowly into the ice cream as it is being churned. It will harden on contact and create the string like chocolate shavings. Transfer the chocolate ice cream to another container, and freeze until hardened.
Have you made ice cream before? What are your favourite recipes/flavours?? Have you made a Dairy Free version??